A Victory & Reseda review of the 2021 Lexus RC 350 F Sport
I often get asked about my favorite vehicles. It has become one of the most often asked questions I get when someone finds out that I’m an automotive content creator/journalist/blogger/etc.
There are times when I find that question annoying. Then, there are times when…ahem…
This ultimately prompted a dumb question I made to couple of friends of mine who knew before this website became Victory & Reseda. I said: “What if I drove this car when I was deep into the Bear community?” It was a ridiculous question. How many exes would have fell for a premium/luxury sports coupe in the most gorgeous red exterior paint job driven by me?
The Lexus RC debuted for the 2015 model year. That’s years after I made a pivot away from a semi-comfortable subcultural lifestyle towards this life as an automotive content creator/journalist/blogger/etc.
However, the Lexus RC continues to provide moments that can be considered memorable. Sometimes embarrassing.
Yet, I had several people compliment me on the 2021 Lexus RC 350 F Sport AWD in Infrared and white perforated NuLuxe seats that I recently worked with (for another outlet or two). Mostly it was because of the Infrared paint job.
One such occasion was in leading the regional unit of a national car club I am a board member of (the regional unit, not the national club). We had about a few Cadillacs, a Volkswagen Golf R, two BMW Z3s, a 1969 Camaro…and me. I was leading them up to Pine City, Minnesota for the East Central Minnesota Pride festival.
We arrived in Pine City, just a couple of blocks short of the venue. Our group was setting up our vehicles for a little parade around the park. We were already warned of construction around said park that turned a couple of streets into dirt roads. Yet, we did fine. Honked around the park. People responded. It was fun.
The feedback I got from the folks that put two-and-two together with me behind the wheel of the 2021 RC 350 F Sport AWD was to the extent that they probably have seen one before. Which may seem ridiculous for a car that has been in production for over six years.
Still, the RC 350 F Sport AWD turned heads. Everywhere. Every time I get behind the wheel, I notice a neck snapping. I know it’s a beautiful car, but…really?
I wanted to get all of these anecdotes out of the way, because these are worth unpacking. It also answers the question I often get asked too many times.
If you catch me at the right time, I will respond with the Lexus RC. This sports coupe above all others I had the privilege to work with in the past decade or so is the one I would answer that annoying question with.
Not to silence the curious. But, to speak truth to experience.
There are many reasons to support why I would answer that question with the Lexus RC. I will give you one that is an overarching answer. It is a gentleman’s coupe.
It used to be that a person of stature, poise, grace, and a whole lot of sense would enjoy a car that would transport them elegantly with swift demeanor. However, those days are over. A person wants a car to get them from point-to-point without any fuss or airs of entitlement.
I’m somewhere in-between. I did not come from a pedigree. I did not graduate from the best universities in the world. I live in a decent zip code. I have never been incarcerated. And, yet, I am part of a cultural group in this country that can be divisive externally and internally.
In some way, shape, or form, this Lexus speaks to me. It has a classic silhouette of coupes from my childhood. It has a great performing engine – in this case, the 311-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. My tester had all-wheel drive, which is a requisite for life in Minnesota.
Is that all?
I always believe that the proof of any vehicle is in the driving experience. This Lexus RC is validation of something I have experienced on occasion for the past six years. This coupe speaks to the enjoyment of driving a coupe that a gentleperson would celebrate every time they get behind the wheel of it.
The sharp response from the steering set, along with that balanced driving experience and superb brakes, are just bullet points on a resume. What this RC 350 F Sport AWD does is to take the nuts and bolts of the car and turn them into another dimension.
Is it a guttural car? No. You can easily hear yourself inside of it.
Is it a posh car? Only if you wish that the NuLuxe upholstery was some rare Connolly hide. Other than that, the car is more accessible for mere mortals who simply love to drive. And, it is quite attentive behind the wheel.
Is it a car that anyone could own? Possibly. That is, if you have $56,590 for an example like this one seen on your screen.
The luxury automobile is somewhat attainable. They have to be special for a clientele that scrutinizes each inch of it. It speaks to their aspirations in life. It has to make them feel special.
Not entitled. Nor snotty. Just special. And comfortable. That is why I gravitate to the Lexus brand. These are vehicles that combine these positive traits into something accessible and a pleasure to drive.
What the Lexus RC continues to do is to provide moments of pleasure. Unlike any car I have worked with in this business. It does so with its own mix of classic design and modern engineering.
That is my answer.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Lexus RC coupe won #VOTY15. On Sunday, we will be announcing the calendar and eligibility for #VOTY2021.
DISCLAIMER: Vehicle provided by Toyota Motor North America
All photos by Randy Stern